Research Reports - Efficacy of the resilience and adjustment intervention after traumatic brain injury

Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Jennifer H. Marwitz, Adam P. Sima, Ana Mills, Nancy H. Hsu & Herman R. Lukow II

Brain Injury, 2018 .DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2018.1468577

Objective: Examine a psychoeducational and skill-building intervention’s effectiveness for individuals after traumatic brain injury (TBI), using a two-arm, parallel, randomized, controlled trial with wait-listed control.

Methods: The Resilience and Adjustment Intervention (RAI) targets adjustment challenges and emphasizes education, skill-building and psychological support. Overall, 160 outpatients were randomly assigned to a treatment or wait-list control (WLC) group. The manualized treatment was delivered in seven 1-h sessions. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) was the primary outcome measure. Secondary measures included the Mayo Portland Adaptability Inventory-4 (MPAI-4), Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) and 13-Item Stress Test.

Results: After adjusting for injury severity, education and time postinjury, the RAI group (N = 75) demonstrated a significantly greater increase in resilience (effect size = 1.03) compared to the WLC group (N = 73). Participants in the RAI group demonstrated more favourable scores on the MPAI-4 Adjustment and Ability Indices, BSI-18 and the 13-item Stress Test. However, only the CD-RISC and BSI-18 demonstrated a clinically significant difference. In addition, RAI participants demonstrated maintenance of gains from pre-treatment to 3-month follow-up; however, only the BSI-18 maintained a clinically significant difference.

Conclusions: Investigation provided evidence that a resilience-focused intervention can improve psychological health and adjustment after TBI. Additional research is needed to ascertain the longer term benefits of intervention and the efficacy of alternative delivery methods (e.g., via telephone, Internet).

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